Friday, February 1, 2013

Land Camera 450

I had recently come to the conclusion that having such a variety of nice film cameras had finally finished my interest in thrift store cameras. There have been several visits with no interesting finds. My Land Camera 100 was nice to find in the South Reno Goodwill last June, but it took me forever to get it up and running. I love it’s look and glass lenses, but it leaks light when using 3000 speed black and and white film. The oak leaves I shot in early December demonstrate that well: they are the last two shots in this entry. Anyway, in cleaning up and sorting out life for a more calm future off the road, I found a stockpile of three packs of color pack film (FP100C). I broke the Land Camera 330’s shutter release cable mechanism a while back (this). In trying to fix it, I maimed my Land Camera 320 as well. And as you all know, my near-mint Land Camera 210 has a nearly useless focusing mechanism (and plastic lenses), so I don’t see the point with it. I still remember the fun I had when I picked that up in Weed, CA (blog entry 7/18/11). I had such silly visions of traipsing around America, digging through random thrift stores for old cameras. It is evidently become quite cool to shoot thrift store cameras (see this thread). It seems that thrift stores are picked through; I had a good run.

There is no good place to put this, but I just received Pat Sansone’s book called 100 Polaroids. I am shocked there were any first editions left to order. It was to spur my interests in publishing a book of my own photographs, and also to see what a touring musician saw ‘out there.’ The scans are of good quality. The book of images is just plain cool.

So Land Camera roll call: 210=sucks, 320=cannibalized for 330=broken, 100= leaks light at iso3000. Thus, I am without a fully functional pack film camera! But I figured, who cares, and returned to my first instant film love, the Fujifilm Instax 210, and the special silver edition I got myself for the holiday. I have a great time with that camera. There was some neat light, and someday soon I will get those remaining Hasselblad street shots up. But I also grabbed a few Instax shots. Let me put up these scans, even though they are out of sequence. Mini Golf Moai
Mini Golf Moai, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/25/13 [Fujifilm Instax 210, silver edition]
It’s a decent title, but actually, I had never seen this thing in my nearly 20 years in and out of Reno. It lurks off the interstate on the east side behind a bunch of mini storage buildings. Something about being out shooting random shit last Friday had me in a different space. And even though I have spent most of the last 6 months between Exit 65 and Exit 56 on what is now called I-580, I had never spotted this. I was actually going to try to get some work done in the late afternoon. Headed south, I saw this thing to my left. And so I drove all around finally discovering that it was part of a mini-golf course. Have I played there? Maybe? There was once a mini-golf game in my earliest days of grad school (Fall 2002), but back then, I slept a lot less and drank quite a bit more socially. So I just don’t remember. Maybe Tristan or Kevin do. Would it matter though, because it felt like I was seeing it for the first time.

Anyway, there was lots of neat stuff to shoot through the ugly god damned fence. The Instax version is interesting, though I wish the red eyes were visible. There are two Hasselblad frames of this Moai, here and here for a more powerful view. Still, it’s not the kind of thing that normal people are drawn to. Or is it? I dunno, there was a recent spate of documentaries about what happened to the people of Easter Island and further speculation about what they were meant to symbolize. I watched those last fall in weekly motel in a Washington lumber town. Life’s been good to me so far, said Joe Walsh. What really blows my mind is that writing this tonight, I find that NOVA just made a new episode about Easter Island (11/1/12), with the DVD being released on 1/13/13.
Shadows, south Reno NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/25/13 [Fujifilm Instax 210, silver edition]

I went to the Goodwill in a rougher part of town, and so it begins. . .
The Pinto, Sparks, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/25/13 [Fujifilm Instax 210, silver edition]
In the locked shelf that I had peered through at several times in the last few years, under some other crap, was a folded up, black-cased pack film camera. I knew I didn’t need another. Ah hell, it is Zeis IKON viewfinder-equipped Land Camera 450! Looking through that viewfinder for the first time was a ‘holy shit’ moment, for it is way way way better than any of the pack film cameras I have yet seen. So though the battery compartment was a mess and the price was not cheap ($29.99), I bought it. Then I used the 120mm ƒ5.6 lens on the Hasselblad to waste some frames to get the film processed that day. Fuji Reala 100:
Polaroid Land Camera 450, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/25/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 250mm ƒ5.6, Fuji Reala 100 frame 9]
Portra 400:
Polaroid Land Camera 450, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©1/25/13 [Hasselblad 500c/m; Planar 250mm ƒ5.6, Kodak Portra frame 9]
A beauty! Now, I can’t really get to many shots from it yet. I took it to Chico, where my brother and I beat the roller mechanism into submission with a butter knife. Not really. Someone had previously maimed the lower roller assembly. We were able to bend it back into shape and get those mouse-trap like springs that hold the rollers together to return to their place. I had brought down the soldering iron and film changing bag planning to resurrect this thing. I was able to transfer out the 1/2 pack from the broken 330 and I watched my brother have his first pack film epiphany. The first photograph from the 450 was lamely of the table where we worked on it, but had a great quality to it; the 450 has two aperture settings, so can give nice, smooth out of focus elements. Unfortunately, I left those prints on there. Fact is, I’ve barely shot this camera. I spent most of the day in my storage unit asking myself if I was really going to move to Reno again. Funny, that I would live somewhere for six months before I really consider moving there. And even now, I have my doubts. On the way back to Reno after a nice visit and meal with my mom, I stopped at the Matthews Lane/Woodruff Lane intersection and set the 450 on a tripod. The moon was nearly full. I set the wide aperture and tried to be really still while I held the shutter down. It must’ve been 30 seconds before I gave up, quite sure the result would be way too shaky and dark. Well, here is the first of hopefully many shots to come from the 450. Grain silos in the moonlight.
Grain silos in the moonlight, Andrew D. Barron©1/27/13 [Polaroid 450: FP100C]

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